Focus Remains on Bergdahl’s Health, Well-being, Spokesman Says
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 13, 2014 Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, held captive by the Taliban for four years, has arrived at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio to continue his reintegration process, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said.
Bergdahl’s captors released him in a May 31 prisoner exchange. He initially was treated at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, and later at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
In a statement announcing Bergdahl’s arrival for further treatment at Brooke, Kirby said there is no timeline for the process.
“Our focus remains on his health and well-being,” he said, adding that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is confident that the Army will continue to ensure that Bergdahl receives the care, time and space he needs to complete his recovery and reintegration.
A proof-of-life video provided by Bergdahl’s captors raised concerns for the soldier’s health, accelerating the pace of negotiations that culminated in the prisoner exchange.
Speaking to reporters on background June 5, officials from the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency explained that when service members or Defense Department civilians are returned after being captured, separated from their unit or otherwise isolated, they enter a three-step reintegration program designed to assist them as they transition back to normal life.
The phases vary in length, depending on the needs of the returnee, and not all returnees will go through every phase, a Defense Department personnel recovery expert with JPRA said. Each phase ends with the recovered individual either being returned to duty or recommended for the next phase in the process, the official added.
In a statement released this morning, Army officials said that after Bergdahl's reintegration, the service will continue its comprehensive review into the circumstances of his disappearance and captivity.